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Steel subsidies talks postponed after failure to agree

MATERIALS

TALKS aimed at ending the use of state subsidies to prop up the steel market broke down at a meeting in Paris last week.

Representatives of steel producing countries including the UK, China and United States met at a meeting organised by international economic body the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in a bid to reach an agreement.

They claim that these payments can distort the worldwide market for steel and are unfair.

But delegates failed to reach an agreement, highlighting differences that needed further negotiation and decided to stall further discussion until next year.

Director of industry representative body UK Steel Ian Rodgers welcomed the OECD's decision to suspend talks but underlined that the steel market's current strength did not indicate an agreement was unnecessary.

He said: 'While we regret there has not been more progress, it is a sensible solution to accept a pause in the process while further consultations are held.'